Friday, May 10, 2013

"Do you have a breath mint?"

Halitosis (Bad Breath)
It's an embarrassing and delicate subject that can sever even the strongest of relationships. How can you tell someone that every time they lean in to tell you something you're trying to hide the fact that your eyes are watering and that you're trying to suppress your gag reflex?
The answer? Probably not easily. No one wants to offend or hurt anyone's feelings but having chronic bad breath is not just impolite it could be signaling serious medical conditions that shouldn't be ignored! 


Guess what? There are hundreds of thousands of bacteria in your mouth, some good and some bad. The bad ones (mutans streptococci) when left in the mouth (due to inefficient personal oral care and infrequent professional dental visits) are given free reign to multiply and feed on food particles left in between teeth. Over time this leads to a very serious disease called periodontitis. At this point no matter how many pieces of gum you chew or how many times you gargle with mouth wash the only way to get rid of your bad breath is to see a dentist for a deep cleaning.
We've all been there. Let's say you're on a date and you order a burger that comes with a stack of red onions or you're at your favorite Italian restaurant and the special is tomato and basil pasta with a side of extra garlic. By the end of the evening your date is hastily making up any excuse to get out of a goodnight kiss.

Garlic and onions are delicious and very good for you but they give you bad breath that seems to last for days!
This is just a fancy name for dry mouth. When the mouth is devoid of saliva, bacteria can flourish accelerating periodontitis and tooth decay.

It all comes down to this: bacteria is smelly and it's just sitting there in your mouth. (gross!)


The quick fix for offensive breath is usually gum and mints. These are good if you are in a bind but these only mask bad breath (and if the mints and gum are not sugar-free you're risking tooth decay!)

The best way to eliminate bad breath is to always floss, brush, & rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash AND always visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least 2 times a year. He or she will also be able to give you a complete oral exam to make sure that the cause for your halitosis is not something more serious.

Noticing your friends and family running away when you lean in to talk to them? Call us to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam!

Check out our website for more dental services.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


what is it?

The temporomandibular joint is the joint on each side of the face that allows you to move your jaw for such activities as eating and talking. 

[photo source: ]

t.m.j. disorder

Pain is never normal. If you feel any of the following symptoms you should see your dentist!! 

Ear pain that is not associated with an infection
Pain when you chew
Pain in the head, face, and neck
Muscle spasms when chewing
Sounds (clicking, popping, and/or cracking) when opening and closing your mouth
Difficulty opening or closing the mouth

Injuries to the jaw
Malocclusion (misaligned bite)


Night guard
The most common treatment your dentist will provide. This is a plastic mouth piece that is to be worn at night. It has a hard exterior and a soft interior. The night guard allows for the cushioning of the teeth so that you do not put any excess stress on your teeth and jaw. Click here for more information on how stress can affect your teeth. 

Avoidance (eating soft, non-chewy foods only) 
Simple enough but seriously limits your food choices! Can you imagine eating soup for the rest of your life?!

Analgesics (medication, ice packs, heat compresses, etc.)
If some days are worse than others because of stress or excessive chewing, try some of the treatments listed above to relieve the discomfort. 

If the reason for your TMJ disorder is an over-bite, under-bite or crooked teeth, braces will be needed to align your smile and alleviate the strain on your joint. Click here for our blog post on orthodontics

In extreme cases where a night guard and orthodontics are not working, your dentist might recommend that you see an oral surgeon to have your jaw fixed. This is usually a last resort and not recommended often. 

Always remember: Whenever you notice that your mouth just doesn't feel right you should come in to see your dentist! 

Call us to schedule an appointment!
Take a look at our website for more information on this and other dental conditions and services we provide!